Have courage!


Last week, I went to the first CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch meeting at St Keirens in Manly Vale. Our guest speaker was Wendy Blaxland, co vice president and author extraordinaire. She’s written over 100 books across a variety of genres, so I was keen to hear her speak about writing for a living.

Wendy Blaxland shared some valuable advice, which I’m passing on to all writers out there. Also, check out her fab website too.

-Have the courage to say you’re a writer. And write!

-Have an overall strategy, where would you like to be in ten years time?

-Be aware of the industry, being published could be a stroke of luck, depending on what the publisher wants.

-Have the courage to submit your work! And write some more!

-Be prepared to work hard. Writing is a lifelong apprenticeship.

-Set up routines and have mini goals.

-Be aware of the industry, grants, competitions, awards, publishers’ submission windows and pitching sessions (Allen and Unwin have Pitch in Fridays and Penguin have the first week of the month). I suggest you hunt down every publisher’s submissions page and see what they’re looking for.

-Have the courage to do some heart writing. That’s writing that doesn’t earn any money but you want to do. If you want to write a play or poem for enjoyment, then go for it. Don’t be boxed in.

I love Wendy’s theme of courage in her talk. Writing never stops feeling scary, you’ll always be vulnerable. But you can push on and take heart that many writers like Wendy still find pleasure in writing. Now that’s something to aim for in the long run!

I also have my second appearance in an anthology, Introducing Wendy is featured in Things a Map won’t show you. I’m thrilled to be part of a book that has Sonya Hartnett, James Roy and Ursula Dubosarsky, among many others 🙂


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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